Mobile Chat Rooms

When I was writing Totally Wired, I remember interviewing a group of low-income African American teens in Philly and asking them about an article I read on teens using chat lines. For teens without computers at home, this was the alternative form of socializing and flirting. It makes sense that phones, especially cell phones would take the place of more expensive laptops or PCs for low income youth…and that mobile social networking would also appeal to this audience for the same reason. AdWeek ran a piece about Axe’s latest attempt to reach their target audience in this space. What I found interesting was the description of who is using mobile chatrooms:

AirG research shows that most of its members are between 18-30 years old and work in service industries, 60 percent did not go to college and more than half don’t own a PC. Almost all bought their phones for $100 or less…

Members use the network to locate friends, send instant messages or join interest-based “lounges” to chat with multiple users about various subjects. They share photos and videos and search for dates, just like on MySpace.

I would be curious to see a socio-economic portrait of the teen users on these services as well.

 

 
 
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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: “The tech items I received this past holiday season were a Blu-ray burner, artist's light box, and Lav microphone.” -Male, 25, TX

72% of Millennials turn to social media platforms for the latest news, and some publishers receive 50% of their referrals from Facebook. Vox Media is keeping up with this trend by creating social-only content for their seven verticals, and the tactic helped to increase their social reach up to 450% in 2014. Native-only and posts covering big events have yielded the most engagement for the digital media group. Although publishers are not yet receiving revenue from posting content designed for Facebook, Vox Media’s Global VP of Marketing predicts that in the future it could be a major revenue stream. (Digiday)

Hotels have already begun accommodating the needs of a new generation of travelers, and now cruise ships are looking to do the same. Millennials are reportedly more interested in cruises than other generations, with 53% saying they would like to go on a cruise within the next two years. This presents some opportunity, but cruise lines have some catching up to do, including providing faster Wi-Fi, shortening trips, and lowering costs. Some lines are attempting to “lure younger travelers looking for romance,” by chartering ships based on age groups, creating mingling opportunities for singles, and providing condoms, pregnancy tests, lubricants, and the morning-after pill. (Quartz)

For parents with refrigerators cluttered with their children’s artwork, Plum Print is providing a new solution. The startup allows parents to ship in their kid’s favorite masterpieces—from paintings to pottery—to be transformed into a custom photo book. Similar existing apps require parents to photograph and annotate doodles themselves, which has been too time consuming to take off on a large scale. Plum Print, started by a mom, has grown to have a large and loyal customer base by doing the work for parents, and 70% of their 2013 customers reordered the next year. (TechCrunch)

One Millennial model embracing her “imperfections” has started a social media movement. Tess Holliday is 5’5, size 22, tattooed, and the first model of her size and height to sign with a major modeling agency. Holliday was discovered by MiLk Model management on Instagram and has been named one of the top plus-size models in the world by Vogue Italia and Refinery 29. She celebrates her size and coined the hashtag #EffYourBeautyStandards “to encourage women to celebrate their bodies, no matter the shape.” The hashtag has taken off with young women online declaring their confidence and promoting body positivity. (BuzzFeed)

Snapchat has led the way in the departure from Facebook's “anything and everything to anyone” sharing practices, and there continues to be a growing demand for digital social experiences that are more private and less permanent. The app Xpire is gaining popularity among younger social media users by allowing the ephemeral sharing of “content that automatically self-destructs” on Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr after a set amount of time. The app also offers features that help reduce one’s digital footprint, like in-depth word searches and tools that calculate the riskiness of a post. (Netted,TechCrunch)

That image at the bottom of our newsletter is a gateway to insights and expert commentary on current and future Millennial trends. Clicking on it takes readers to our daily insights article, available to Silver and Gold subscribers, which illuminates a facet of Millennial culture and helps subscribers to understand the "why" behind the "what." Drawing from our ongoing collection of proprietary data, our deep-dive desk research, and our 10-year history of studying this generation, we figure out what it all means for brands and marketers. (Ypulse)

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